Stockbridge residents may be pleased to hear that SL/SL1 bus service will soon be back on the roads. The popular service ran direct between Stocksbridge and the Middlewood tram stop, but the service was withdrawn as Staegcoach made changes to the operation following the implementation of social distancing measures.
New social distancing measures mean that buses can only carry a fraction of the number of passengers they would have done so before the pandemic, whilst also needing their vehicles to cover essential journeys which inevitably means fewer services elsewhere. This meant Stagecoach withdrew the SL1 and SL1a service, instead replaced by a revised 57 and 57a service to run between Hillsborough and Stocksbridge.
However, Labour councillors were not happy with this arrangement and lobbied Stagecoach and the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive to get this route reinstated.
Following this pressure it has been announced that from Monday 15 June the SL/SL1a service will be back again.
Councillor Julie Grocutt, Labour councillor for Stocksbridge and Upper Don:
“I’m delighted that our conversations with Stagecoach have provided so fruitful and that the SL service will once again be running between Stocksbridge and Hillsborough. This was something I know local residents wanted to see and I was glad to take-up their cause.
“Obviously we are in incredibly difficult times and Stagecoach, like all the city’s bus operators, will need to make sure their staff and passengers are safe and that social distancing measures are properly in place. This will of course affect services but I felt this was one route which was too crucial to Stocksbridge residents, and I’m glad this decision has been reversed”.
The new timetable can be viewed online at the Travel South Yorkshire website – www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/serviechange
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and due to capacity issues the service will not run as frequent as it did before the pandemic, but a bus will call at each stop every two hours until 5 o’clock, Monday to Saturday.
Councillor Bob Johnson, Labour Councillor for Hillsborough and Cabinet Member for Transport:
“As we move further out of lockdown it is crucial that the council helps people get to where they need to be. Our bus operators need to work through a series of challenges but I do feel it was a mistake in replacing the SL service.
“I’m glad that we have been able to work with them in getting this service restored. Obviously this service won’t be as frequent as it was previously, but hopefully as we get further into the year we will see further changes, and Labour councillors will continue to work constructively with the city’s bus operators to help them through this crisis whilst championing local opinions”.